- Black and white South African farmers have united in a call on US President Donald Trump to back off from the land reform debate in the country
- Trump took to Twitter last week to express his concerns about land expropriation in South Africa, his tweet has drawn criticism from the government, civil society and now farmers
- Farmers called on Trump to worry about events in his own country and leave South Africa to South Africans
South Africa farmers of all races and backgrounds have united in a call on US President Donald Trump to butt out of the land reform debate and process which is unfolding in the country. Farmers called on Trump to focus on his own problems and leave South Africa to South Africans.
This comes after Trump took to Twitter last week to express his concern about the unfolding land reform process in South Africa. Trump’s tweet was filled (like most of his other remarks on the platform) with very little factual truth and seemed to rely heavily on a report by his favourite news channel, the notoriously biased Fox News.
South Africans who have had precious little to unite around in recent times have been near universal in their criticism of the tweet. The South African government labelled the tweet as alarmist and ill-informed. The ANC said the tweet was outrageous and hurtful.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Trump was also crucified on Twitter in South Africa and now farmers have joined the fray.
Farmers called on Trump to worry about the various issues he is facing at home and leave them alone. News24.com reported that various farmers and other agricultural stakeholders slammed Trump during a recent summit which was held in Limpopo.
Preline Swart who farms in the Western Cape said Trump was misinformed and did not have a clue what he was talking about. She said the farmers from her community were angry about the tweet and wanted Trump to “leave them the hell alone. “
Andre Smith who farms in the Northern Cape said none of the people he knew liked what Trump has tweeted and disliked the American president because he had a habit of being outspoken at the expense of the truth.
Smith said Trump did not understand South Africa and invited the businessman turned political maverick to visit the country to get a clearer picture of the situation for himself.
Whiskey Kgabo a farmer from Limpopo could only laugh at the tweet and pointed out that Trump had a history of saying controversial things on social media. Kgabo said he had nothing against Trump but he called on the statesman to check his facts before sending tweets into the world.
Farmers might have rejected what Trump had to say but issued a call on President Cyril Ramaphosa to end uncertainty in the sector by announcing exactly how land expropriation would work. Black farmers said they were as unsure about their futures as their white counterparts.
One of the speakers at the conference, Tshilidzi Matshidzula who farms in the Eastern Cape, said while the government had given its assurance to farmers that the process would not be reckless, the ongoing uncertainty about exactly how land reforms would be enacted was bad for business.
Matshidzula said even black farmers were uncertain about what the future held because the government had thus far not been very clear in explaining how it was going to enact land reform.
Farmers rejected the notion that South Africa was heading for the same scenario which faced Zimbabwe when Robert Mugabe authorised mass land invasions masked as land reform in the early 2000’s.
Some of the more informed farmers called on Trump to focus on the current crisis which has engulfed his presidency. Trump’s former campaign manager was convicted on fraud charges and his former personal lawyer has pleaded guilty to various crimes.
These events have raised the spectre of Trump facing impeachment proceedings in the coming months and he has even lost some of his base support, although he remains popular among hard-core Republic party members in America’s rust belt.
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